By Thomas Strong
Last Updated: 25th June 2018
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt, World Cup Group A
Monday 25th June
The final round of World Cup 2018 Group A matches kicks off with Saudi Arabia vs Egypt, with both teams already out of the tournament after losing their matches against Uruguay and Russia.
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt line-ups
Saudi Arabia XI: Almosailem, Osama, Alburyayk, Yasser, Motaz, Salman, Hatan, Otayf, Hussain, Salem, Fahad
Egypt XI: El-Hadary, Fathy, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdelshafy, Hamed, Elneny, Elsaid, Salah, Trezeguet, Mohsen
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt qualification permutations
Both sides have failed to accumulate a single point in the competition so far, making this their last game in Russia. With just pride to play for, only a win for the Saudis will see them avoid the ignominy of finishing bottom of Group A, as their goal difference is inferior to Egypt’s. Saudi Arabia’s odds of finishing bottom stand at a mere 1/6.
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt odds
Egypt are 5/6 to triumph, whilst a draw is deemed more likely than a Saudi Arabia win at 12/5 and a victory for the Green Falcons is the match-betting outsider at 7/2.
Under 2.5 match goals is available at odds of 8/11 in this encounter between two teams with a combined goals-for total of one, and that a penalty, between them so far in the tournament.
Despite the adversaries lack of attacking oopmh in Russia, the William Hill traders make the both teams to score odds a pick ’em market, with 17/20 available about both yes and no.
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt match stats
This is the first tournament meeting between Saudi Arabia and Egypt since the 1999 Confederations Cup, where the Saudi’s won 5-1.
This will be Egypt’s first ever World Cup match against an Asian nation, and the third different continent they’ve faced after Europe and South America.
Defeat for either team will see them become the first team to lose all three matches at a World Cup since Honduras in 2014.
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt team news
The Pharaohs have no injury concerns coming into their farewell fixture, but manager Hector Cuper could use the match as an opportunity to afford team captain Essam El-Hadary in goal.
He has yet to see action in Russia, but the 45-year-old will become the oldest player in the history of the World Cup if he is allowed to take his chance against Saudi Arabia, eclipsing the previous record of 43 years and and three days, held by Colombian stopper Faryd Mondragon.
Saudi boss Juan Antonio Pizzi will be without injured players Taiseer Al Jassam, Omar Hawsawi and Mansour Al-Harbi.
Of the trio, 128-cap midfielder Jassam is likely to be the biggest loss, having started the first two matches in Russia.
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt key players to watch
Predictably, all eyes will be on Mohammed Salah to provide Egypt with some positive memories of their first World Cup since 1990.
The Egyptian King looked short of fitness in the 3-1 defeat against Russia, following the shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League Final.
Salah managed to score with his only shot on target, duly converting a penalty. The odds on Salah to score two or more goals against Saudi Arabia stand at 5/1.
Saudi Arabia are yet to score in the 2018 World Cup. There have only been 11 previous occasions of teams failing to score at a World Cup finals tournament in 3+ games, with Honduras and Algeria the last teams to do so in 2010.
If there is to be a duck-breaker, perhaps curly-mopped left-back Yasir Al Shahrani could be the man, as despite playing in defense he’s had more shots (four) than any of his colleagues. He’s 40/1 to score first and available at odds of 14/1 to bag anytime.